THE FRIDAY FIVE | LET’S GET PERSONAL ABOUT LONDON EDITION
Good quality, lightweight luggage – I invested in some amazing luggage late last year and, although I love the way it looks and how it is organized on the inside, I can’t get past the fact that it weighs 9 lb. without anything in it! That just doesn’t work for an over-packer who is ‘moving’ abroad for a few months! I needed something lightweight, functional, organized AND affordable, so I decided to buy a few pieces by Samsonite. They have a long history of curating quality luggage pieces so, I couldn’t be more excited about this investment. I probably should have made it awhile ago! I also really like that each piece can be zipped into the others for easy storage. Whether you are a short or long term traveler, these are perks we can all enjoy! Aside from these bigger pieces, a durable tote is a must-have in terms of carry-on luggage.
A solid water supply – Remember: when you’re on an airplane, you are breathing in recycled air and there is less oxygen within the cabin than your body is used to. You’re much more likely to get dehydrated when you travel, so you need to be conscious about keeping yourself hydrated! Be sure to either buy a large bottle of water before you fly or bring a water bottle to repeatedly fill up on your own. I try and drink a full bottle of water before I board then fill it up again to drink during my flight. I am gearing up for this adventure to London, so I just bought one of these S’well bottles to test out to cut down on cost over time.
SALE ALERT: My favorite leggings are currently on sale!
Here are some options that are ‘Alyson Haley approved’ for travel ensembles:
You can read more about my international travel tips and packing must-have’s in THIS post!
Necessary documents and paperwork – It’s a given to bring your passport with you when traveling internationally, and your ID when you’re traveling domestically but I’m learning the importance of really doing your research before leaving the house. Obviously, I’m tackling a whole other beast by traveling with Fish over to the U.K. [which requires a lot of planning and preparation before the trip] and I realize not everyone is in a similar boat when they travel but, if you are traveling for a long period of time, this tip still applies to you! Be sure you look into whether or not you need to get shots prior to entering the country you’re traveling to or a visa in order to stay for a particular length of time. For me, I’ve printed out ALL of Fish’s paperwork, plus an extra copy of it all, directions to where I will pick him up at Heathrow, a list of my emergency contacts, a copy of my passport, my round-trip flight information, my flat address and landlord information, my driving service reservation and their telephone number in case I need it, etc. Thankfully, I don’t need a visa to live in the U.K. for three months but what if I did and I didn’t think to look into it? So, talk to other people who have traveled to where you’re going and do research online to prevent as many headaches and set-backs, as possible. Print out all necessary paperwork and keep it in an easily accessibly place [i.e. your carry on luggage] just in case you might need to reference it on your day of travel and / or day of arrival into the country.
So, I realize that the #NSale has kind of lost its luster now that it’s been open for two weeks for a lot of you! But, if you’re still in the market for some good steals … I am seeing that this fleece pullover that I’m obsessed with has been restocked in a few colors & sizes, as well as my favorite pair of jeans! I’ve loved this leopard flap cross body bag from the beginning of the sale but was SURE it would sell out, so I decided to wait on it. It’s still available and so, so cute! It’ll be great with Fall outfits! These heels are a great deal and will be a great addition to any outfit with that purse, as well! I just saw that these faux leather leggings are a part of the sale, and I have a few friends that SWEAR by them every Fall & Winter season. They’re pretty pricey but, thanks to the sale, you can get them just over $50!
One of this weeks’ suggestions was sharing the five things about my London adventure that I’m really excited about! This will definitely be an easy list to make, and these are all reasons why I’m excited to share it all with you, as well!
Being in an old, historically rich city – I grew up in a suburb of Jacksonville, Florida and while it was a great place to grow up, I have always loved visiting cities with LOTS of history, culture and things to do. I love getting to know new places and cities, so I am absolutely ecstatic over getting lost in the different neighborhoods, taking Fish on walks in Hyde Park, trying out lots of restaurants and bars, shopping on Oxford Street, taking myself on day dates to museums or monuments, etc. I think I’m especially excited to have this experience be in London because of my Mom’s deep love for European history, English literature, the British monarchy, etc. She took middle school kids on trips abroad to help bridge the gap between their textbook and the real thing. I know it was her dream to live abroad for awhile, immersed in the culture she knew ALL about from the biographies she read, documentaries she watched, and fictional story characters that she loved. It will certainly be a little bittersweet to not be able to share any of what I’m doing with her. I wish I had her suggestions to go off of but, thanks to Pinterest, I’ll be able to kind of get some good ideas… and I already do, so stay tuned for some fun Snapchat adventures and Instagram photos 😉
Seasons – Being from Florida, this is something I’ve always wished I got to experience on a yearly basis. We only get to experience summer, and just wet cold weather in January & February. And, I’m not complaining. I love warm weather and palm trees and the beach … so, it’s not all bad, but I think there’s some truth to the saying: ‘you always want what you can’t have’! I’m excited to finally get what I’ve never been able to have! Ha! I’m very, very excited to see what the Fall in London, and throughout Europe, is like!
Fish being with me – While I love to travel, the hardest thing about being away is not coming home to Fish. I am with him for hours on end when I’m home, almost all day long, so when we’re not together … sounds cheesy … but it’s weird. He’s my best little friend and I’m so excited that he gets to be a part of this experience with me.
On the contrary, there are some things that I’m a little nervous about, which is a natural feeling when you’re going into something new and unknown. None of these are going to ruin my time over there – just some thoughts on challenges that could come up along the way!
I picked a word on New Year’s Eve this year that I wanted to make sure I focused on in 2016. The word was NURTURE. Here’s where it stems from ….
Since its birth, I have nurtured the crap out of Sequins & Things. I lived and breathed it. There were aspects of my life that I put on the back burner because I preferred to put my energy into this, instead. I’ve always been so passionate about styling & curating content for you all but, when you work for yourself, in social media, especially if you love what you do, you find that it’s hard to ‘clock out’ of work mode. Last year, I probably posted five or six blog posts a week on top of two to four Instagram’s a day. You may not realize it, but that’s a lot of content that took a lot of time to create and share with you all! At the end of the year, I was proud of what I had created but I felt really conflicted. I realized that I don’t want my blog to be the only thing I’m successful at nurturing, the only thing I’m proud of at the end of the year, the only thing I spend my time focusing on, and the only thing I find value in. I wanted my choices this year to be different. I wanted to take days off. I wanted to take better care of myself when I’m tired. I wanted to nurture my friendships more. I wanted to say yes to other things outside of work. I wanted to allow myself to open up to someone I like. The list goes on and on!
So, choosing the word ‘nurture’ was my way of making sure I didn’t forget about the OTHER THINGS in my life worth nurturing. It was my way of reminding myself to choose differently. It was my way of reminding myself that balance is important, that family is important, that my boyfriend is important, that rest is important, that capturing everything on social media isn’t always necessary or important, etc. And, the great thing is, I definitely think I’ve embraced nurturing other things the way I’ve wanted to this year. What I wasn’t expecting, though, was the guilt I feel at times when I’ve made those different choices. While I do want all of those aspects of my life to be nurtured, I still have those high expectations that I had before in regard to the blog and Instagram. So, if I’m honest, I’m still working on resetting those professional goals and expectations.
When I think about what I want to be the best at, being a well-rounded individual is the first thing that comes to mind. And, if I really do want that … I’m not ALWAYS going to be able to give as much of myself to the blog, which is something I will probably wrestle with for a little while and need to work on. My hope, while I’m in London, is that I will be able to nurture a solid work / life balance. I want Ben to see how passionate I am about the work that I do and content I get to create, but I never want him to feel like I always choose nurturing that over nurturing us. I definitely think it’ll take some figuring out on both of our parts, as I’m sure it has taken other bloggers’ and signifiant others’ time to figure out, as well.
What are your guilty pleasures!? I want to know!
Well, that wraps up this edition of the FridayFive! Sorry it was posted so late! This week has been a doozy! But, as always, thanks for stopping by! xo.
OH! TWO MORE THINGS!  Last Saturday, I ran a secret giveaway through my newsletter and gave away a $150 Nordstrom gift card for anyone who is signed up & opened the newsletter! The winner has been emailed already, but be sure to subscribe to S&T updates in the top right corner of the main page to be clued in to those secret giveaways. I’ll be doing them from time to time and you’ll be able to keep up with some exclusive content I’ll be sharing in the newsletter while I’m over in London! 🙂 And  Happy National Lipstick Day! I’ve been loving nudes this year, and I’ll be posting three of my recent faves on Instagram here shortly but wanted to post the names and links of them here, in case you needed it and couldn’t tell which is which:  ‘Adrienne’,  ‘Fairest Nude’, and  ‘Give In’
Okay, now I’m gonna let y’all go! Enjoy your weekend! xo.